The Great American solar eclipse happening this Monday will indeed be something to see, but first you'll need to make sure you have what you need to view it safely.

At approximately 11:30 a.m., the the solar eclipse will begin here in the Wichita Falls area with the peak happening around 1:00 p.m. and leaving our visual vicinity at around 2:30pm.

Looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection is unsafe. The only safe way to look directly at the eclipsed sun is through special solar filter eclipse glasses. Unfortunately, many places have sold out of the eclipse glasses, yet a few stores here in Wichita Falls still have a numbered amount on hand. There are also a handful of online vendors selling eclipse glasses that might offer overnight shipping.

As of Thursday, each of the official American Astronomical Society approved retailers of solar eclipse glasses listed below had some in stock, but glasses are going fast, so you might want to call and make sure before you go.

If you can't get glasses, don't worry! Our own Midwestern State University physics program has invited the community to view the eclipse in the Sunwatcher Plaza. They will have the appropriate viewing glasses available plus a small telescope with a solar fitting.

If you can't find any glasses and can't make it out to MSU, you can either make your own pinhole camera to safely view the eclipse, or use a welder’s helmet, but make sure the glass has a minimum of #14 shading to keep from damaging your eyes.

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